NBA May Lose a Few Games This 2011–12 Season Due to Lockout
First the National Football League (NFL) imposed theirs and now the National Basketball Association (NBA) has imposed their own lockout. Unfortunately, after the June 30, 2011 meeting between NBA players and owners, they weren’t able to come to an agreement of how to disperse the league’s revenue in response to the expiration of their 2005 collective bargaining agreement (which you can read here). As of July 1, 2011 at 12:01 am Eastern Time, all league business has officially been put on hold (including the free agency period) and owners are not to have any contact with their players.
Participants of the failed three-hour New York meeting that Thursday included NBA commissioner David Stern, deputy commissioner Adam Silver, San Antonio Spurs owner Peter Holt, New York Knicks owner James Dolan, NBA Players Association chief Billy Hunter, and player representative Derek Fisher. Some of the proposals to the new collective bargaining agreement presented by owners were a hard cap on team payroll to replace the prior flex cap, and $900 million off the top and half of the remaining league’s revenue for owners. Owners state the prior year wasn’t a profitable one as a result of the prior collective bargaining agreement. Proposals presented by players included an average salary of $7 million for players in the sixth year of the deal, opposition to the hard cap and a reduction to 54.8 percent of the league’s revenue.
Players argue that a hard cap will ensure additional funds going to major basketball ‘stars’ and leaving others to fend for their current positions. They also argue that the reason why the owners weren’t profitable in the prior year is due to their irresponsible spending on big contracts and new arenas, and are now trying to pay off those debts by skimming the salaries of their players.
Many spectators are predicting this to be a lengthy lockout due to the hard-line stance of both sides and that both sides have enough capital to fund them throughout the lockout if it was to go the distance. The league is estimated to lose $300 million this season, twenty-two of the thirty leagues will lose money, and this estimation can increase depending on the length of the lockout. The NBA has had three prior lockouts, the last one began on July 1, 1998 and ended January 20, 1999, losing fifty games that season. This resulted in the decrease of television ratings and ticket sales, which as of presently, have not returned to its pre-lockout levels.